Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An Unwanted Surfing Lesson

The first 20 people to sign up will receive a free surfing lesson,
 that's what the special offer for a Catholic Youth event said. I wrinkled my nose up at that. A surfing lesson? That wasn't something that I would ever want. I'd better make sure that I wasn't one of the first twenty people to sign up. The lesson had better go to someone who actually wanted it.

So I waited to sign up. I waited a whole week. Surely twenty people would have signed up in that amount of time? I'd be pretty safe now. So I signed up and promptly forgot all about the special offer. Twenty lucky people would go surfing, and thankfully I wouldn't be one of them.

Two days before the event, I received an email from one of the organizers  "Because you were one of the first twenty participants to sign up, you are eligible to receive a free surfing lesson. Would you like to accept this lesson, or give it to someone else?"

I just stared at the email. What, after all that, I'd still managed to get the free surfing lesson? That was silly. I didn't want a free surfing lesson. I wasn't a surfer and that was that.I would email the organizer back later and tell her I didn't want the lesson. She could give it to someone else.

Still it was rather a funny story to tell. "Hey Mum, you know how I was trying not to get the free surfing lesson? Well, I got one."

Mum laughed. Then she said, "You should take the lesson. It could be fun."

No. No way. I wasn't going to go surfing. But everyone else said the same thing. "You should go surfing. It might be fun."

"Alright," I grumbled. "I'll accept it. But I'm not sure whether I'll enjoy it."

It could be fun. But really, I wasn't very sure. Oh well, if nothing else, maybe I could set a record for the amount of times fallen off the surfboard if nothing else. Surely I wouldn't look out of place.

Out in the ocean, lying on a surfboard however I still wasn't too sure. I mean, I was a little excited. It wasn't every day that I got to go surfing. It could be fun I supposed. I waited for the instructor to tell me what to do. He watched the waves, then suddenly, "Paddle."

I dug my hands into the water, thrusting myself forwards, paddling as hard as I could as the wave rushed up behind me.


Bit by bit, I got to my feet...and promptly fell off. The wave washed over my head, carrying the surfboard towards the shore before the cord attached to my ankle stopped it with a jerk. I popped up out of the water laughing. That was fun. I dragged my surfboard back through the water to where the instructor waited and prepared to go again.

Six waves later, I rode the wave into shore, ever so carefully getting to my feet. I was pretty sure to fall off again. But at least I was trying. One leg up. two legs up. I balanced precariously on the board as the wave carried me into the shore. As we reached the edge, I grinned. Wow, I'd done it. I'd managed to stand up on a surfboard. And maybe, just maybe surfing was more fun than I'd thought it would be. I was glad then that I'd taken the lesson.

I'm definitely not going to turn into a surfer now. In fact, I even think that standing up on the board was a fluke, but I haven't tested that theory out yet. But I do know that sometimes, things I think I won't like turn out to be better than I expected. Maybe it's time to be more adventurous in the future. And next time I get the offer of a free surfing lesson, I'll be accepting it. It's certainly more fun than I thought.


  1. Always try new stuff! There is no harm, so why not? You might discover a new passion!

    I remember going snorkelling with the dolphins last year - I was actually really scared, not of the water, but of having to try to fit into a wetsuit. I imagined trying one wetsuit after another, while slim blonde women turned their noses up at my flabby physique... only to find I was too fat for even the biggest wetsuit!

    It's good thing I didn't let that put me off though. Seeing the dolphins in their natural environment, showing off for these odd humans, was just amazing! I found a new passion, and I broke through a fear - both things I would never have done otherwise!

  2. It's a lesson I'm having to learn slowly I'm afraid. So far I've managed to get myself to go to Catholic Youth retreats, and to go surfing, which is a start I guess. I shouldn't be such a coward really.

    Snorkelling with dolphins would be so amazing. At least you could still go without a wetsuit. I hope you didn't get cold. And I suppose you could fit into one now couldn't you?

    Swimming with dolphins would be a great new passion. Some time I am going to have to try it. Maybe I would like it as much as you do. You're so much more adventurous than me. I'll have to work on imitating you and getting braver!

  3. Well, come visit me in Perth, and I'll take you swimming with the dolphins! I did eventually fit into a wetsuit on that trip out - so I was just being silly.

    You are not a coward! Sometimes it's just about learning to see the positives of trying new things. I have tried lots of stuff that I now know isn't for me - so now I don't have to wonder about "might-have-beens" :)

    1. I'll definitely have to come and visit you when I can work out time and money. I'd love to come and visit you sometime. Then we'll see the dolphins and all your other fun things. Or some of them at least. We'd have to leave some for another trip!

      Seeing the positives...It really is about that isn't it? If I didn't see the positive side of Reasons for Hope, I might have been too scared to go and I wouldn't have had such a great time. It's funny to think about the things I might not have done if I hadn't taken the plunge and just decided to do it, whether or not I thought it was going to be a particularly good idea.

  4. Hehe...you sound like me...I don't want to learn to surf but the rest of my family wants to try...but you made it sound fun. Maybe next time we go on vacation and surfing comes up, I'll give it the good old fashioned try - and if I fluke into a stand up...I'll wave to you before I fall down :D


    1. I'm sure you'll manage a stand up. I managed one, and I'm not a surfer by any stretch of the imagination. I'll be watching for that wave Jessica.

  5. Glad you had fun. Never tried it myself.

  6. Well done!

    Sending you a Shaka from O'ahu :)